[quote style=”boxed”]Ideas are a dime a dozen. What counts is being able to do the proper research, brainstorming with people who are in a similar space and validating that an idea has legs. From there, I’m a firm believer that testing in phases is key. Get a working prototype up and out the door, gauge the response, gain feedback and work to get the next phase out the door.[/quote]
A seasoned social and digital media practitioner and public relations expert, Cody Barbierri works to create, execute and deliver social media plans for name brands as a social media manager at Piehead. He recently founded BetaBait, a discovery platform that allows users to give feedback on web, social and mobile applications.
His experience includes public relations and social media roles at Weber Shandwick, Racepoint Group and Version 2.0 Communications. He is a frequent blogger for VentureBeat, a top business and innovation blog that spotlights social media, technology and new media startups.
Cody Barbierri holds a BA in communications and MA in public relations from Suffolk University.
What are you working on right now?
I recently co-founded BetaBait, a discovery platform for early adopters to find and give feedback to the freshest startup web, social and mobile applications.
Where did the idea for BetaBait come from?
We got sick of only finding out about new startups from tech blogs and friends. We wanted to create a platform in which any startup could get in front of a community of early adopters who can test and share the apps they find interesting. Every startup deserves a chance to utilize these early adopters to get off the ground and become successful.
What does your typical day look like?
We have full time jobs, so our day is a mix of social media activities and development. In our spare time, usually on nights and weekends, we brainstorm and work on developing the next phase of BetaBait.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Ideas are a dime a dozen. What counts is being able to do the proper research, brainstorming with people who are in a similar space and validating that an idea has legs. From there, I’m a firm believer that testing in phases is key. Get a working prototype up and out the door, gauge the response, gain feedback and work to get the next phase out the door.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
I’m excited that access to technology has made it easier for ideas to become reality. It means that more ideas, which might not have been able to happen because of overhead costs or resource restrictions, can have a chance.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I’ve had a few jobs in which I was micromanaged, especially in the public relations world. Often times, you get managers who have been doing something one way for so long that it’s hard for them to see that other ways can be different but just as successful.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I would have found someone like my co-founder Rory Thompson 10 years ago and began pumping out new services a lot earlier. This game is fun and it’s only a matter of time until we get something that sticks.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Fail. Each time you fail, you learn. It’s way better than trying to find an idea that you know will work. I’ve failed a few times in the past 2 years and it has helped make BetaBait better.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Gamification of mobile devices. In 2012, we are going to see everything from websites to mobile apps become gamified. If you can figure out a simple way to add a layer of points, badges and social recognition to mobile apps, you’ll have a booming business.
Tell us a secret.
I’m getting married soon and I’m really excited.
What are your three favorite online tools and what do you love about them?
- Skype: It is a super easy way to stay in touch with people anywhere in the world.
- TweetDeck: It allows me to easily manage the brand profiles I’m responsible for updating.
- Chrome: It was late to the party, but is a great browser with tons of cool plug-ins.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. It’s an amazing look at a genius–whether you loved him or hated him.
What’s on your playlist?
A little of this and a little of that.
If you weren’t working on BetaBait, what would you be doing?
Another idea. I get a couple ideas a month and have a few waiting in the wings once Google gives me a check for BetaBait.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
- @GuyKawasaki is the co-founder of AllTop and a partner in a VC firm. He is a really smart guy and always pushing technology boundaries.
- @JeffCutler has some really interesting perspectives on social media.
- @petershankman has created the digital marketing standard and influenced BetaBait.
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
My co-founder Rory Thompson sent me a text last night that he almost got in a bar fight…with Russians.
Who is your hero?
My mom beat breast cancer and is an amazingly independent business woman.
How do you balance your professional and personal lives?
I don’t. My professional life is my personal life and vice versa. The best you can do is find some time for the people you love.